Many people think that the most difficult part of being in the military is the actual work itself, but when you’re a mom or dad first and a soldier second, leaving your loved ones is usually the hardest.
And every parent knows that what’s tough for themselves is usually a lot tougher on their kids. That’s why when Air Force Major Steve Dillenburger was chosen for his first deployment overseas since being a dad he wanted to make sure that his young son Sean wouldn’t miss him too much.
The Annandale, VA dad decided to put 190 Hershey’s Kisses in a jar for his tiny 3-year-old, one for every day he would be away. “It was just something sweet at the end of the night and a reminder that (Steve) was thinking about him and loves him,” wife and mom Mary Ellen Dillenburger told TODAY.
When the kisses started running out, Sean got excited knowing that Steve would soon be home from Kuwait, and when that day finally came it couldn’t be any more precious. “It was really sweet,” Mary Ellen said. “I was excited to see my son run out there, so I kind of hung back a little bit and watched how excited how happy he was to have daddy home finally.”
“It was really sweet,” Mary Ellen said. “I was excited to see my son run out there, so I kind of hung back a little bit and watched how excited how happy he was to have daddy home finally.”
Sean who also has a little sister, 1-year-old Ann Marie, made sure to eat his Hershey’s Kiss every day before bed and would take the jar of treats everywhere so he wouldn’t forget.
“We’re lucky because we were able to FaceTime with him while he was gone, so it wasn’t like he was never able to see them, but this was just a great way to end each day,” Mary Ellen told TODAY.
The family realizes that their sweet story might be able to help others military families in the same difficult position. “So many go through this all the time, and we were lucky it was a relatively short deployment in a relatively safe place,” Mary Ellen said. “It’s just nice to have a spotlight on all the military families because you can’t understand what it’s like until you go through it.”
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[Featured Image: TODAY]
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